Bogor Botanic Garden are about to begin targeted survey work searching for Rhododendron wilhelminae, a critically endangered species endemic to Mt. Salak in West Java, Indonesia. The species is not present in any ex situ collections and is possibly extinct species as the last survey in 2018 failed to find any plants.
The current project will: i) conduct population surveys to provide the most current population status of the species, including distribution, population size and structure and habitat preferences, ii) updating the conservation status of the species following the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, iii) collecting seeds, wildings and/or cuttings of the species to serve as ex situ collections, iv) conducting propagation to provide plant materials for future species recovery programs, and v) disseminating the results to increase public awareness on conservation of R. wilhelminae and its habitat.
If extant, the results of this project will serve as baseline data to develop a comprehensive strategy and a conservation action plan for R. wilhelminae. Furthermore, ex situ collections and disseminated propagated plant materials will ensure the long term impact of the project beyond its duration.
This project is supported by the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Small Grants Programme.